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Glossary

ashwa’iyyat (slum)

adab (manners)

ahwa (traditional coffee house)

akhla’ (good character)

al walad da akhla’a (a child with morals)

Al-Ahram (the pyramids)

al-haya (reserve, restraint)

al-khol  the law that allows women unilateral right to divorce

al-mu’allim (The boss)

al-sha’b yurid isqat an-nizam (“the people want the fall of the regime”, slogan chanted in Tahrir square during the uprising)

‘aysh (bread, but also life)

‘aysh al-huriyya (“bread of freedom/life of freedom)

baladi (traditional)

baltagiyya (hired thugs, i.e. petty criminals hired by the government or businessmen to bust heads)

beit al Ta’a (rule under which women who have left their marital homes can be forced to return to their husbands)

bi’a (vulgar)

bitu’ l-infitah (“those of the open door”; the nouveau riches who profited from Sadat’s economic turn to the West)

da’wah (religious instruction)

fallah (peasant)

Fariq Albahath Algana’y (Department of Criminal Investigation)

fitiir (breakfast)

galabiyya (the traditional robe-like garment worn by Egyptians)

hamiha haramiha (“its guard is its thief”–folk saying applied to civil servants who use their positions to line their pockets)

hammam (public bath)

hara (neighborhood)

hasham (shame)

higab (woman’s head covering; scarf)

ibn az-zawat (son of the aristocracy

ihana  (humiliation)

intifada haramiyya (“the uprising of thieves.” Pejorative term applied by Sadat to the bread uprising of Jan. 18-19, 1977)

infitah (“open door”–name for Anwar Sadat’s economic reforms)

infitah al-fasad (“open door of corruption”–popular pejorative  phrase applied to Sadat’s economic reforms)

‘ishta (literally “cream” but idiomatically “cool”)

khalawati (effeminate, homosexual)

koshary (traditional Egyptian dish of rice, lentils, chickpeas, macaroni, fried onions and salsa)

kusa kabirah (“big zucchini”–idiom referring to high ranking officials or people with connections to them)

luqmat al-‘aysh  (“bread of livelihood”) Phrase used to justify riots and uprisings over rising food prices.

mahana (humiliation)

Markhah ar-Ru’b (“Cry of Terror”, Arabic title for the Goosebumps series of books by R.L. Stein, published by Nahdet Misr)

mitfarnagin (trying to act foreign)

mu’adab (decency)

munaqaba (veiled woman)

musalsal (soap opera)

niqab (face veil)

sabr (patience)

samak al-qirsh (“piaster fish”–idiomatic term for shark and, by extension, greedy people who pursue money in spite of the harm they may do to others)

shabab (youth)

Shabab al-Facebook (popular name for the tech-savvy young people who planned much of the Jan. 25 uprising)

Sha’bi (popular)

shaham (gallantry)

shilla (group of friends)

shisha (hookah; waterpipe)

tahrir (liberty)

tar (revenge killing)

Talafiziyun ad-Dawla (state television)

u’dit il-khawaga (foreigner complex)

ulama (religious leaders)

umm ad-duniya (“mother of the world”–a term for Egypt)

ummah (global community of believers)

urfi (unwitnessed marriage)

wat al-shida (times of adversity)

wilad al-baladi (son of the country)

wilad an-nas (children of the people)

Ya Misr oudi zay zaman” (“Oh Egypt, return to your former self” — phrase uttered by Sheikh Imam in Tahrir Square that became a slogan for those who saw the revolution as recapturing a lost Egyptian spirit)

zakat (charity)

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